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String Of Terrorist Attacks In Germany

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Die Tageszeitung, July 25

The Monday edition of Berlin-based daily Die Tageszeitung shows how, in the span of just a few days, Germans are suddenly faced with terrorism and attempted mass killings. With a photograph of survivors exiting from Friday's deadly attack in a Munich shopping center, the newspaper asks how to react to any such mass killing attack.

Friday's attack, which left nine dead, was indeed not carried out in the name of Islam — unlike others that have struck Germany in the past week. Yet, another attack came late Sunday when a Syrian migrant set off an explosion in southern Germany near a music festival in the city of Ansbach, which killed himself and wounded a dozen others. According to Bavaria's interior minister, the attacker was driven by religious extremism.

The perpetrator was denied asylum in the country a year ago, although he was allowed to remain in Germany because of the ongoing conflict in Syria, and was about to be deported to Bulgaria. The man had repeatedly received psychiatric treatment, and previously attempted suicide.

This is the fourth attack in a week in Germany. A 21-year-old Syrian refugee was arrested on Sunday after killing a pregnant woman and injuring two other people with a machete near Stuttgart. The Munich attack was carried out by an 18-year-old with German-Iranian. The country's authorities have been on high alert ever since another teenager armed with an axe and a knife wounded five people on a train in northern Bavaria, last Monday, an act that has been claimed by ISIS.

Government critics blame these violent attacks on German Chancellor Angela Merkel's liberal refugee policy. According to Reuters, a leader of the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany (AfD) posted on Twitter a message after the Munich shooting that said, "Merkel's unity party: Thank you for the terror in Germany and Europe!" The message was later deleted. Last year, Germany welcomed an estimated 1 million migrants.

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Turkey: The Blind Spot Between Racial And Religious Discrimination

Before the outbreak of the Hamas-Israel war, a social media campaign in Turkey aimed to take on anti-Arab and anti-refugee sentiment. But the campaign ultimately just swapped one type of discrimination for another.

photo of inside Istanbul's Eminonu New Mosque

Muslims and tourists visiting Istanbul's Eminonu New Mosque.

Levent Gültekin


ISTANBUL — In late September, several pro-government journalists in Turkey promoted a social media campaign centered around a video against those in the country who are considered anti-Arab. The campaign was built around the idea of being “siblings in religion,” and the “union of the ummah,” or global Muslim community.

(In a very different context, such sentiments were repeated by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan after the Israel-Hamas war erupted.)

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While the goal is understandable, these themes are highly disconnected from reality.

First, let's look at the goal of the campaign. Our country has a serious problem of irregular migrants and refugees, and the administration isn’t paying adequate attention to this. On the contrary, they encourage the flow of refugees with policies such as selling citizenship.

Worries about irregular migrants and refugees naturally create tension in the society. The anger that targets not the government but the refugees has come to a point which both threatens the social peace and brought the issue to hostility towards the Arabs, even the tourists. The actual goal of this campaign by the pro-government journalists is obvious if you consider how an anti-tourist movement would hurt Turkey’s economy.

However, as mentioned above, while the goal is understandable, the themes of the “union of the ummah” and “siblings in religion” are problematic. The campaign offers the idea of being siblings in religion as an argument against the rising racism towards irregular migrants and refugees; a different form of racism or discrimination.

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